This Week's 4 Biggest News Stories

Tube Strikes

London was brought to a near standstill on Sunday, where the tube strike saw reportedly 133 stations closed. The strike was in protest of the severe under employment of the tube services, stating that the proposed 600 extra posts this year are no way near enough to meet the demand. The effects of the strike were catastrophic for the majority of Londoners, many of whom could not make work or even job interviews to the sheer overcrowding of buses, which saw some people waiting over three hours for a bus. Mayor Sadiq Khan expressed his anger towards the strike, stating that it was disruptive and unnecessary: “That’s why I say to the trade unions I think you’ve made a big mistake today.” The social media tool Spredfast has concluded a majority ‘neutral’ response to the strike via twitter, concluding that if the strike was a word it would probably be “meh.”

Russian Hacking

The US have accused Russia of illegally influencing the American presidential election via a hacking scandal. Trump received an unclassified report on Friday which contained allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered the hacking of the Democratic Party emails in order to damage Clinton’s rival campaign. The report’s evidence is based on the Kremlin’s undeniable bias towards Trump, as well as evidence of hacking of the Democratic National Committee, and the payment of social media users to make nasty comments. The Kremlin has responded by dismissing the allegations as nothing more than a “witch-hunt”, and despite Trump’s intention of stamping down on cyber attacks, he refused to single out Russia specifically. President Obama has expelled 35 Russian diplomats from US soil over the hacking.

‘Hard Brexit’ and falling pound

May’s recent comments that Britain would pursue a ‘hard Brexit’ has seen the pound fall to a two month low against major currencies. Her remarks have made it clear that May is to prioritise domestic policies, namely immigration control, over securing better trade deals for the UK. The pound has thus fallen as a result. On December 22nd, the pound was worth $1.23 compared with $1.47 pre referendum. If article 50 is triggered before the end of March, as May has stated, Britain should in theory be out of the EU by summer of 2019.

Freezing Temperatures 

One of the coldest winters in Europe has reportedly taken over 20 lives, 10 of which were in Poland on Sunday. The icy temperatures have frozen fountains in Italy, lakes in Spain, and forced homeless shelters across Europe to take in more and more people as the death toll increases. Temperatures in Russia have plunged to -30 degrees Celsius. Snow is forecast in the UK over the coming week, marking the end to this abnormally warm winter where temperatures have reached often 10 degrees.